source: | 2000 Games, Devotions, Themes, Ideas and more for Youth Work
only for private using

Indian stories | Indian wisdom

Indian stories and Indian wisdom

When delivering stories and pieces of wisdom, one thing repeats itself again and again: The Indian’s wish to live at one with nature. They see themselves as a part of nature – not better and not worse. Nature and everything inside nature should be respected in view of the godly spirit and soul.

The spirits will punish those who kill and waste life. In the few days “Indian Camp” you cannot bring across the complete points of view and thoughts of the Indians about themselves and about nature, but you can bring over the rudiments of the Indian’s “attitude to life”. If you manage to teach the children to look at nature with different eyes and teach them to respect it, then you have really achieved something. Conversations about the wisdom of the Indians can be used as an introduction to show how the Indians saw themselves and how they saw nature and you can ask questions on how we or you yourself see nature and your attitude towards it.

Indian wisdom

  • If you do not let your heart grow hard, if you prove your friendliness toward your fellow people, they will answer you with affection. They will send you friendly thoughts. The more people you can help, the more positive thoughts you will receive. That people act kindly toward you is worth more than wealth.
    (Henry Old Coyote)

  • Save me, Great Spirit, from judging other people if I have not walked a mile in their moccasins.
    (Unknown Apache fighter)

  • The earth was made with the help of the sun. The sun and myself, we are one. The person who has the right to rule over a country is the one who created it.
    (Chief Joseph)

  • Walk tall like the trees, live your life as strong as the mountains, be as soft as the spring breezes, keep the warmth of the sun in your heart and the Great Spirit will always be with you.
    (Wisdom of the Navajo)

  • The 3 worst evils are: stupidity, laziness and cowardliness

  • Only when the last tree has rotted, the last river poisoned, the last fish caught, you will realise that you cannot eat money!!!
    (Cree Indian)

  • Peace is not just the opposite of war, not just the amount of time between wars, peace is more. Peace is the law of human life. Peace is if we act right and if justice prevails between each individual human and human race.
    (Mohawk’s saying)

  • How long do we live on this earth? Not for ever, just for a little while. Jade breaks, gold can be crushed, money gets creased. Nothing lasts forever on earth; everything only lives for a breath. Our time is borrowed; we must leave it behind in a moment.

  • What is life? It lights up like a glow worm in the night. It passes like the breath of the buffalo in the winter. It is like the short shadow, which shoots over the grass and loses itself in the sunset.

Live and let live

It was a lovely day in the woods. The birds sang in the trees, the frogs croaked in the pond, the crickets chirped in the grass and a rattle snake slid along a small path, which led through the middle of the woods, to warm herself in the sun. She rolled up and slept a little. It was peaceful and nice. A man came along the path who saw the sleeping snake and wanted to kill it.

He grabbed a large stone and just as he wanted to throw it onto the sleeping snake she woke up. „Brother, why do you want to kill me, I haven’t done anything to you!" You are poisonous and must die!" called the man. "But brother, I am poisonous but I’m not doing anything, I won’t kill you!" " You, kill me?" laughed the man. "I am a human and am much larger and stronger than you and I have this stone. I am going to kill you with it!" "I am not a snake’s brother anyway!" the man screamed “…and you are going to die now!" He lifted up the stone. In that instant, the snake struck out like lightning and bit the man in the neck. He immediately fell to the ground and as he lay there dying, he heard the snake say: “If you had listened to me, brother, and hadn’t wanted to kill me, this wouldn’t have happened and you might have had a long life." Then the snake rolled back into the sun and slept on this wonderfully peaceful day in the woods.

The tale of love and trust

Once upon a time there were two people who loved each other very much. They had gotten married and could not imagine life without each other. For this reason they decided once day: Should one or the other die, man or wife, the other would give up their life and following their partner to demonstrate how strong their love for each other was. Their lives went on and they were happy with each other and with their children. However one day, the man came across the idea of testing his wife to see how strong her love for him really was. He sent a companion, who was with him collecting wood in the forest, to his wife. He should tell her that her husband had fallen from a tree and was dead. As the wife heard the news the pain split her heart in two and she remembered the promise. She went into the house and took her own life. As her husband came back and found her, he cried his heart out. How stupid could he be? He had believed that his wife wouldn’t keep the promise. He had tested her love and thereby lost her completely. The man was very sad, he missed her and he cried bitterly. However he did not have the courage to take the same path. After some time he noticed that his house was always clean, that the children were looked after, had eaten and were happy when he came back from work. He did not understand this and asked the children why they were so happy and who had cleaned up. Their reply was simple: mother was here and she did everything. The man did not believe this, but it happened every day and the reply was always the same. The man hid himself in the house to see what happens.

Then his wife really did appear and was so beautiful and looked so lovely that he did not stay in his hide-out. He stood in front of her and told her how much he loved her and that her eyes were twinkling and that he wanted to take her in his arms and kiss her. The woman replied: "No, no, please don’t! Don’t do that, I have died and would have to go forever and never come back again. Please don’t do it!" However the man loved his wife so much and did not understand what she meant and he wanted to hold her. He put his arms around her, and then he saw that he was holding a skeleton in his arms. The woman did not appear again.

"We do not know what we have until it’s gone. We should never expect something of other people which we are prepared to do ourselves. "

3 short Indian stories to read out or tell are included in the camp fire stories.

  • Test of courage

    Test of courage of a group of Indian boys almost went wrong.

  • The cave labyrinth

    In the cave labyrinth, some Indian children lose their way because they didn't listen to the adults.

  • Little Wolf

    How the Red Indian boy "Little Wolf" found his belief. The story of Little Wolf is suitable as a thought inducer and is included in the story telling section.

back to first page: Red Indian Adventure Camp

[ © | 2000 Games and Ideas for Youth Work ] - 2000 Games and Ideas for Youth Work
picture youthwork picture youthwork picture youthwork picture youthwork picture youthwork picture youthwork